Taiwan's 2014 unemployment at seven-year low: Govt

TAIPEI (AFP) - Unemployment in Taiwan fell to a seven-year low in 2014, indicating that the job market had stabilised as the economy improves, the government said on Thursday.

The jobless rate sat at 3.96 per cent at the end of the year, the lowest since touching 3.91 per cent in 2007 and the first time it has been below 4.0 per cent since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 pledging to boost the economy and employment.

The percentage of unemployed people aged between 15 and 24 years, hit hardest by a slowdown in the economy over the past few years, also improved to a three-year low of 12.63 per cent from 13.17 per cent in 2013, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said.

"Taiwan's economy was stabilising and warming up so the number of employed people was growing and the job market was steady," Ms Lo Yi-ling, an official at the agency, said.

"We expect the employment situation to continue to improve as the economy is predicted to grow steadily in 2015," she added.

Last year, Taiwan's economic growth was buoyed by a steady recovery in developed countries as well as record-high exports and rising domestic consumption.

The trade-reliant economy expanded a better-than-expected 3.78 per cent in July-September, while full-year growth for 2014 is forecast to come it at 3.41 per cent, which would be the island's best 12 months since 2011.